The Transylvania Times -

United Way Funding Delayed – Transylvania County, NC


Last updated 10/17/2019 at 8:54am

The United Way of Transylvania County (UWTC) will have to access a reserve fund to meet its allocation goals for local nonprofits for its 2018-2019 fiscal year.

The UWTC has not met its projection of $315,000 to the nonprofit agencies the UWTC agreed to fund by Sept. 30 but hopes to do so in November.

“It was a mistake, an oversight of our projected income that turned out to be inaccurate,” said UWTC Board Chair Terry Decker.

The Family Place, Mountain Sun Community School, The Children’s Center, the Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County and The Mediation Center are among the 13 agencies that have not received funding.

UWTC Interim Director Rick Houck said there was a $60,000 “shortfall” in funds “between what we hoped to have in total income and what we got.”

“That’s a combination of interest, donations, grants and other endowments,” he said. “Our year ends at the end of June, so last year we were $60,000 short. We had hoped that certain grants were going to come in. We ended up increasing our allocating (by) $32,000 more than last year. So, we are giving out, in hindsight, more than we should. We made the decision back in March, so we didn’t know what the end of the year was going to look like.”

Decker said a line item in the projected income “looked a lot brighter” than what was “accurate.”

“The board made their recommendation based on that number, but it was based on a false understanding of how much we had to allocate,” he said.

The next step, Decker said, is to access the reserve fund UWTC has with The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC), a nonprofit organization that supports 18 counties through grants and charitable funds to individuals, families and corporations.

Accessing the reserve requires a formal board meeting with CFWNC. Decker said that meeting would be in November, which is when, he said, they will be able to distribute the funds to the nonprofits.

“The good news is we can pay them, and that takes care of the oversight of the shortfall,” he said.

Decker said they’ve contacted agencies they serve to get an account of which ones need immediate assistance and which ones don’t.

“The response from the agencies we have spoken with is largely supportive, and they understand, though wish it were different,” he said. “We haven’t heard the report back from some agencies, but 11 of them have said they are fine, so I am relieved about that.”

Michael Brown, the Mountain Sun Community School executive director, was contacted for comment.

“We recognize that this is a challenging time of transition for our partners at United Way of Transylvania County, and we’re confident that we will all find a way forward by working together as a community,” he said.

Decker said the UWTC had also looked at trying to get a bridge loan from the Pisgah Health Foundation.

“They did not say ‘no;’ they said ‘not now,’" said Houck. “The first time I approached them they said (they) had never done this before but they said they will see if they can figure something out. They looked into how they could possibly collateralize the money we do have. We have money. We just can’t get it until November. They found in their research that the money we can’t access yet can’t be collateralized for legal reasons.”

Decker said the UWTC has “been transparent with everybody, all agencies, and they have understood the error, so to speak, and that we are getting our feet back on the ground with the transition of CEOs.”

“Rick (Houck) has done a great job in that regard,” Decker said. “There is truly a lot of good faith and good spirit here that could be otherwise, and as a human involved in this, I really appreciate the humanity of it.”


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